Pre-Season Friendly: Bridgend Ravens 7 Doncaster Knights 47
Doncaster Knights put Bridgend Ravens to the sword in their opening pre-season friendly at the Morganstone Brewery Field when posting a 47-7 win.
Knights quickly got into their stride after finding their feet and scored four first half tries, three of which were converted by fly-half Sam Olver, to lead 26-0 at half time against their semi-professional hosts.
Knights, who have been back in full training since early June, gave a debut to a number of their new signings against a Bridgend side which only just hanged on to their Welsh Premier Division status last season.
Former Yorkshire Carnegie centre Pete Lucock, of whom a lot is expected this season, made an early impression on the new-look Doncaster coaching staff when sending long-serving wing Tyson Lewis over for the game’s opening try.
Knights were in again at the end of the first quarter - fellow wing Dougie Flockhart touching down after the ball had come loose just inside the Bridgend half.
Young back-rower Sam Jones, whose first campaign in the professional ranks was adversely affected by an early season head injury, showed his undoubted potential.
In addition to getting through a lot of work in defence he also broke the line on several occasions to set-up back-to-back tries for speedy scrum-half Tom James.
Knights started the second half with an unchanged line-up and they carried on from where they had left off at the end of the first.
Jones continued to stake an early claim for a starting place in the club’s opening game of the season in just over a month, when scoring from a driving maul.
Olver again added the extras before becoming one of four changes.
New Bridgend coach Steve Jones, whose squad included new signings and trialists from local clubs, also rung the changes as the half progressed.
Knights made another four changes which served to disrupt their rhythm for a spell and the home side opened their account with a break by Kris Stenner leading to a converted try by fellow back Jamie Murphy to make it 33-7.
Knights regained the initiative and claimed their second try of the half with Curtis Wilson, who had replaced Lewis, rounding off a neat move by the backs after good work by the forwards.
Charlie Foley took over the kicking duties to make it 40-7.
Wilson, who failed to hold down a regular starting spot in the closing weeks of last season, bagged a second when collecting a cross-field kick over the line near enough for Foley to complete the scoring.
Doncaster Knights: McColl, Flockhart, Hayes, Lucock, Lewis, Olver, James; Hislop, Hunter, Foster, Challinor, Hicks, Jones, Hills, Pitman. Rep; Cullen, Foley, Wilson, Pocklington, Burden, Quigley, Sproston, Beach, Smith, Birch, Eames.